Amber, photo by Ann Porteus

As a young woman, I travelled in Mexico and met one of my life-long loves, amber. When I first saw a street vendor selling jewellery with warm, orange, yellow and brown stone in it, I was struck by the beauty and was instantly smitten. Like warm Mexican suns, a pair of twin disks glinted up at me from the vendor’s woven wool blanket, luminous.

In broken Spanish I asked about the stone, and at first thought that he said its name was antiguo. Later, I realized the vendor had been telling me that it was old, but because I thought that viejo meant old, I didn’t recognize the word. When I consulted a dictionary I learned that antiguo meant antique or ancient, and that it was not the name of the stone. I asked my Mexican friends who kindly explained that the stone was called amber, and that it wasn’t really a stone.

While amber is considered a gemstone, it is actually a fossilized gum from ancient evergreen trees ranging in age from 100,000 years to 320 million years old. There are amber deposits all over the world, from different kinds of evergreens, and from different climates. Each area, and kind of evergreen, produces a distinctly coloured amber. This particular rosy, honey coloured amber was from the Simojovel region of Chiapas, a province in the south of Mexico, and it is believed to be about 25 million years old. Antiguo indeed.

I returned to the street vendor the next day and set about the long, laughing process of bargaining for the earrings that had most enchanted me. With my broken Spanish, and the vendors raucous sense of humour, we eventually agreed upon a price and I left with a light weight set of large moon-shaped earrings whose etched edges were bound by silver wire. I put the amber earrings on, and wore them continuously for weeks. The beauty of amber is that it is lightweight, so the large earrings didn’t weigh down my earlobes.

Amber, photo by John

Healing properties of amber

Entranced by my new love of amber, I was eager to learn all about it. Its healing properties are numerous — it imparts a sense of health and healing, balances the emotions, releases negativity, and restores clarity. A natural purifier, amber is used to draw pain and disease out of the body.

Traditional healers know as curanderos or curandeiros use amber to draw impurities from the body. Amber has healing properties beyond the physical, and it is widely used for psychic protection, as well as the healing of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual impurities. By absorbing the impurities or negativity, amber frees the body’s natural healing mechanisms to return to homeostasis and health.

In some Asian cultures, amber is called the “soul of the tiger,” where it is known to absorb fear and free courage, clear doubt and free wisdom, and draw out illness to aid healing.

In the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea, where it is plentiful, Baltic amber is used for pain relief. The succinic acid — an ingredient in the resin — is thought to have analgesic properties, effective against pain, and is used to ease the effects of aches, pains and arthritis.

Here in North America, amber has become synonymous with healthy babies, and you will often see newborns and toddlers with a string of amber beads around their neck for protection.

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Amber, photo by Karen Bhamra

Magical properties of amber

Because amber can absorb negativity, it is useful to use against any kind of psychic attack, curse, bad luck, or binding. Wearing amber jewellery is the easiest way to provide ongoing energetic protection against negativity, malcontent and bad magick. Able to absorb the sticky energy of ancient familial bonds, amber can keep you clear of bad karma and unresolved family dynamics.

Find some amber that speaks to you, like the earrings spoke to me when I first saw them. Take the time to hold a piece of it, quietly thanking it for its resilience and ability to be strong and enduring. Recognize the value of this ancient and wise gemstone. Bless its purifying qualities, imagining the clean scent of of the ancient pines overcoming anything that smells bad in your life or environment. Envision the gooey resin before it hardened. Watch it stick to and absorb any illness, negativity, doubt or despair that surrounds you, and let those qualities be held within the resin as it hardens.

Because amber is so old, it possesses great wisdom. Let it help you clear what you no longer need, and take away the energy that impedes you. When you look into the clear amber and see small insects, seed pods or organic matter, know that your negativity can be absorbed and held, in the same way that those organic materials are trapped in the hardened resin.

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Amber, photo by Megan

Amber’s healing heart: A visualization

Hold your amber in your hands, and visualize the ancient trees that produced the resin that later hardened to create it. Know how tall, sturdy and stable they are. Acknowledge the ancient wisdom of those magnificent trees, with their wise and healing energy. As the amber warms in your hands, know that your stone warms to you. The slow vibration of ancient amber attunes to you and your vibration, seeking out what interferes with your natural state of homeostasis and radiant health.

Imagine now that you can pull the brilliant bright energy of amber into your hands. Envision drawing the bright, sunshine-like glow of amber up your arms. Using your focused attention to draw the golden rays up through your chest, breathing the healing light into your skull where it surrounds you like a halo. Feel the warmth flow out into the spherical ethereal bodies surrounding your physical body, filling your aura with light. Then, let the brilliant yellow, warm energy runs down your spine, sweeping all the way to your legs and feet.

Get ready now to breathe deeply. As you pull the golden filaments of light up through the front of your body, know that the high vibration of amber’s healing light purifies everything it touches. As the amber energy flows up through your chakras, from root to crown, feel its healing warmth. Finally, cascade the golden light out the top of your head let it flow down around you. Feel the freedom from fear, doubt, and low self esteem. Know now that you are free to be magnificent, natural, healing and healthy. Place your hands over your heart and know that amber’s spiritual energy lives there within you.

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Whenever you need to draw upon its ancient healing energy, simply wear your amber jewellery and take a moment to practice the body and aura clearing breathing of amber’s healing arts.

If you want to know how to periodically clear and restore the healing powers of your amber, ridding it of the absorbed energy, join the Occultnik Cabal and come on over to the member side of Spiral Nature Magazine, and read “Restoring homeostasis.”

Image credits: Ann Porteus, John, Karen Bhamra, and Megan